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JUST IN: Appeal Court faults ex-parte order used to remove Onnoghen as CJN

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, has faulted the ex-parte order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) upon which President Muhammadu Buhari acted in suspending former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

A three-man panel of the court, led by Justice Stephen Adah, held that since Justice Onnoghen was not yet arraigned as at January 23, 2019, when the ex-parte order was made, it was wrong for the Prosecution to have gone behind him to obtain an order for his removal from office.

Despite its observation, the court declined to set aside the order, noting that the ex-parte order was no longer of any use since the substantive trial has been concluded.

It advised parties in the case to pursue the appeal in relation to the judgment in the substantive trial.

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The court made the pronouncements, on Friday, in its judgments in four interlocutory appeals by Justice Onnoghen, against some decisions of the CCT, while his trial lasted before the tribunal.

The Appeal Court equally faulted the CCT for refusing to be bound by the orders made by four High Courts, restraining it from proceeding with Onnoghen’s trial.

It said, rather than closing its eyes to valid and subsisting court orders made against it, the option opened to the CCT when confronted with the orders, was to appeal them.

The court, while noting that events have overtaken most of the reliefs sought in the appeals, dismissed them.

Details later…